The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently weakened the impact of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) in False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases. The FCA allows whistleblowers (called “relators”) to bring lawsuits against contractors on behalf of the federal government. Relators can receive up to 30 percent of the government?s ultimate recovery. This bounty incentivizes relators to bring FCA lawsuits. It also causes some relators to see the FCA as a retirement-advancing lottery, and their complaints often characterize innocent business challenges as fraudulent schemes.
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